Big govt

Epic Govt Fail: Hawaii Emergency Agency Trips Missile Alert

Hawaiians had an interesting start to their weekend yesterday after an overpaid state employee ‘hit the wrong button’ during a shift-change at the state’s Emergency Management Agency.

The system designed to warn residents of an impending missile attack went live sending alerts across mobile phones, radio, etc warning: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek Immediate Shelter. This is Not A Drill.”

According to local reports, the alert sent the islands into pandemonium with women and children running wild screaming and crying.

It took a full 38 minutes for the agency to correct the record.

It’s one more demonstration why relying on the government to take care of us is a fool’s errand.

Here’s more from Fox News…

Hawaii emergency officials confirmed Saturday evening that an alert about an inbound ballistic missile was a mistake, which a state emergency official attributed to someone pushing the wrong button.

Vern Miyagi, who oversees the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA), said at a news conference late Saturday that while employees were changing shifts earlier in the day and doing a test of their ballistic missile prep checklist, the wrong button was pushed.

Rather than triggering a test of the system, it went into actual event mode. He confirmed that to trigger the alert, there is a two-step process involving only one employee — who both triggers the alarm, then also confirms it.

“There is a screen that says, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?'” Miyagi said. The employee confirmed the alert, inadvertently causing a panic in a state already on edge over saber-rattling missile threats from North Korea.

At about 8:07 a.m. local time, Hawaii citizens received an emergency alert on their phone that read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

At 8:20 a.m. local time, Hawaii EMA tweeted that there was “NO missile threat” to the state. However, the tweet didn’t reach people who aren’t on the social media platform.


Big govt, Politics

DC Gets Rich: Bureaucrats Overtake Senators in Pay Hikes

President Trump came into the nation’s capital promising to ‘drain the swamp’, and to some degree he’s done that with dozens of major regulations getting the ax.

Which doesn’t include forced attrition from Obama holdovers who’ve finally given up.

But a new report shows that growth in salaries for federal bureaucrats has outpaced salaries for members of the US Senate.

According to the report, recent pay hikes have increased the average salary and benefits package of federal workers to over 120 grand.

Yes, that’s the average.

The upper end of the benefits range is just short of a cool two hundred.

If Trump wants to win over voters in the run-up to the mid-term elections, this is a fight he needs to pick.

It’s time to cut the fat!

Here’s more from Washington Examiner…

The top paychecks of federal workers are set to grow again next year to a six-figure number that rivals the $174,000 salaries of America’s 535 House and Senate members.

Under a new federal order, salaries for most bureaucrats in the General Service will rise next year when the cap on top pay hits $164,000.

And for the upper reaches of the government, senior executive service employees will be allowed to earn a maximum of $189,600.

The Washington area, where the bulk of federal workers are employed, will get the biggest pay raise under the order signed by President Trump before Christmas. There, the increase for General Service workers will be 2.29 percent.

The average federal worker in 2016 earned $86,365. With benefits, the total compensation was $123,160.


Big govt

Major Fail: TSA Agents Don’t Know What ‘DC’ Stands For

More embarrassment for the TSA this week ahead of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Recent reports have surfaced on multiple occasions in which residents of Washington, DC, have been disallowed to board their flights until their IDs were double-checked.

The culprit? Officials in Washington recently replaced ‘Washington, DC’ on driver’s licenses with ‘District of Columbia’.

That now has TSA agents thoroughly confused because they’ve “never heard of the District of Columbia before.”

No, we’re not kidding.

This comes on the heels of a bombshell audit after the agency failed screening test by as much as 95% of the time.

Insert double-facepalm.

Here’s more from Daily Caller…

Transportation Security Administration officers continue to be confused about their nation’s capital.

District of Columbia Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton sent a letter Tuesday to TSA Administrator David Pekoske Wednesday about a Washington, D.C. resident who had issues at the Newark International Airport with her driver’s license.

Holmes Norton said that a TSA officer denied that the I.D. was valid and had to consult with colleagues before allowing the D.C. resident to catch her flight.

“As I am sure you can imagine, it can be humiliating for a U.S. citizen to be delayed because a federal government does not recognize the name of the District of Columbia,” Del. Holmes Norton wrote in her letter.

A Washington journalist tweeted in 2014 that a TSA agent in Orlando “never heard of ‘District of Columbia.’ Demanded passport because he didn’t believe my driver’s license was from US!?”

D.C. officials replaced “Washington D.C.” with “the District of Columbia” in 2014, which Del. Holmes Norton credited with the TSA’s troubles. This year, officials decided to return to the “Washington D.C.” labeling.


Big govt

Border Patrol Losing Agents Faster Than It Can Hire Them

The lack of a border wall may soon be a lesser problem in curbing illegal immigration.

According to a recent audit of the US Border Patrol, the agency is losing nearly a thousand agents per year.

Yet the number of new hires per year is just over half as many.

Among the problems are desperate working conditions and the fact that better jobs are available in other departments.

That means that President Trump’s goal of hiring 5,000 new agents is both extremely aggressive and, even if possible, will only plug the hole for five years.

The drain of agents means an even more porous southern border.

And news of that reality is certain to make its way southward and encourage even more incursions where coverage is the weakest.

Here’s more from Washington Times…

The U.S. Border Patrol is losing agents faster than it can hire them, according to a new audit released Wednesday that said competition with other federal law enforcement and the difficulty of passing a polygraph test have sapped the agency of nearly 2,000 agents it’s supposed to have.

More than 900 agents leave each year on average but the Border Patrol only hires an average of 523 a year, the Government Accountability Office said in a broad survey of staffing and deployment challenges at the key border law enforcement agency.

The law requires the agency to have a minimum of 21,370 agents on board, but it had just 19,500 agents as of May.

That’s an even bigger problem when stacked up against President Trump’s call for hiring 5,000 more agents, to reach a workforce of 26,370.

Managers blamed everything from remote working conditions to competition with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the interior immigration agency that’s also staffing up, for difficulty in filling out ranks.

Problems span the southwest border, with eastern California and western Texas suffering particular shortages.


Big govt

TSA Fails Nearly 80% of Latest Undercover Tests in US Airports

If you’re like most Americans who fly even just once per year, you know how frustrating the experience has become in the post-9/11 world in which passengers are presumed to be guilty until — after an aggressive pat-down — they’re proven otherwise.

What’s worse is the indiscriminate nature of the searches which include octogenarian, wheelchair-bound ladies and children.

But the argument by big government officials is that all this is necessary to protect against terror attacks. Except, apparently it’s not.

Accordingly officials with knowledge of recent undercover tests of TSA effectiveness, the draconian security screening is failing, at a minimum, three out of four times.

This begs the obvious question: is it all worth it?

We wager not.

Here’s more from ABC News…

In recent undercover tests of multiple airport security checkpoints by the Department of Homeland Security, inspectors said screeners, their equipment or their procedures failed more than half of the time, according to a source familiar with the classified report.

When ABC News asked the source familiar with the report if the failure rate was 80 percent, the response was, “You are in the ballpark.”

In a public hearing following a private, classified briefing to the House Committee on Homeland Security, members of Congress called the failures by the Transportation Security Administration “disturbing.”

Rep. Mike Rogers went as far as to tell TSA Administrator David Pekoske, “This agency that you run is broken badly and it needs your attention.”

Pekoske was confirmed by the Senate this summer.

Inspectors “identified vulnerabilities with TSA’s screener performance, screening equipment, and associated procedures,” according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security.